Five arrested after cocaine worth over €55m found at British airport

The seizure is being hailed as a "major blow to organised crime"

Five arrested after cocaine worth over €55m found at British airport

Image: British National Crime Agency

Five men have been arrested after cocaine worth more than £50m (€56.8) was found at a British Airport.

The half-a-tonne haul was discovered after border officials searched a private jet which had arrived into Farnborough airport from Bogota in Colombia.

Two Britons, two Spaniards and an Italian are being held on suspicion of importing Class A drugs, the British National Crime Agency (NCA) said.

Computers and phones have also been seized after three properties were searched in Bournemouth as part of the investigation.

The crew of the plane have been released without charge.

Image: British National Crime Agency

"This is a major seizure of cocaine, one of the largest flown into the UK by plane in many years, and this seizure by Border Force represents a major blow to organised crime," said NCA operations manager Siobhan Micklethwaite.

"We estimate that once cut and sold on the streets in the UK it would have had a potential value in excess of £50m.

"Our investigations into this attempted importation are continuing."

The cocaine was hidden in 15 suitcases that were found on board, the Border Force said.

Every case contained between 34 and 37 tape-wrapped packages that weighed about a kilo each.

"One of these was pierced and a white powder exposed which tested positive for cocaine," Border Force deputy chief operating officer Mike Stepney said.